May 21, 2019
Newborn photographer. Newborn photographer. Newborn photographer.
I know you’re not supposed to have favourites, but we all secretly do. However, I have a good reason for Willow being my number 1; she’s my best friends daughter. A rather unlikely friendship, initially based on the appreciation of sun beds and our mutual dislike of our overbearing boss, it ‘blossomed’ (so to speak) and now I couldn’t be without her. She’s seen me through the births of my three girls, the trials and tribulations of marriage and the celebration of starting a business. Gail is my sister from another mister; and when you’ve absconded to the other side of the world with little more than the clothing on your back, friends quickly become family.
So when Gail sent me a message with a picture of a positive pregnancy test and no more words than “Help me!”, I couldn’t have been more excited.
Welcome to the club…
I won’t lie, I ‘sailed’ through three pregnancies. Morning sickness happened, but ended quickly. My heart burn and generally uncomfortability of pregnancy were normal by most measures. My waters broke, I laboured, I squeezed out a kid and then they latched. I have been text book by all accounts. Disgustingly, I’ve made child birth look like child’s play. Gail saw all of this and of course, like any pregnant human could only hope for text book too. This girl had morning sickness, heart burn and all the rest until the day Willow appeared. How can two women, who’s bodies are essentially built for child rearing and then labour, differ so much?
On one of Gail’s good days, we managed a beautiful, yet extremely cold maternity session. 34 weeks pregnant and glowing with the prospect of meeting her first daughter in a matter of weeks. In true Gail style, she was dressed in black with dark roses adorning her head.
Now we wait…
Then we played the waiting game. Even Stephen’s office had a birth date & birth weight poole going. Everyone was excitedly waiting for the impending arrival but she had other plans. Her March 17th due date came and went. Not even a twinge. I figured the world would be messaging Gail to ask her if baby had arrived or if there was any movement; so I opted for sending her inappropriate pictures of Octo-mums belly and other such images of heavily pregnant animals. I knew she’d want to throat punch me, but at least it was a reprieve from the bombardment of ‘is she here yet?’.
Then Gail went quiet. Monday the 25th of March I messaged her as I’d made soup and bolognese for her freezer. I offered to drop it off but was quickly met with a reply of “No, no, Stephen will swing past and get it”. I knew something was up, but Stephen played it down when he came past. I never heard another thing until I received a message on Thursday 28th of March with a picture of Gail snuggling a burrito’d baby and the words “Willow Simpson 8lbs 9oz born at 04:02 this morning”.
GAIL MADE A BABY!!!!
I hurriedly messaged my congratulations and asked how she was and how the labour went (I’m a labour story buff. Proper birth story junkie). Safe to say Gail and I are pregnancy/birthing Ying & Yang. 3 days of labouring at home to finally be checked. They found her back waters had started to come away and noticed grade 3 meconium. Basically baby needed out now. Whisked away for an emergency section and drugged with the good stuff, Gail brought ms Willow into the world as far removed from her birth plan as she could have imagined. In the grand scheme of it, does it really matter? Sun roof or fun hole, as long as your kid comes into this world and you’re alive and happy, you really can’t complain.
My first aunty duties were to photograph the newest member of my ever growing girl gang. I blame it entirely on her being overcooked, but this girl barely closed her eyes during the entire session. With a mop of black hair and searing blue eyes, Willow was everything.
Welcome to the world my favourite. You have so many incredible things to look forward to and I can’t wait to see you grow and change (and give your mother hell). Aunty Sam and the girl gang will always be here for you. You’re stuck with us now.